Employee Volunteer Programs

The latest and the hottest trend in employees perk these days is corporate volunteering. Companies today are moving ahead of their cash-only contributions to novel solutions to provide for their employees the opportunity to ‘give back’ and serve their community. This is happening through corporate volunteering. In other words, there is a rapidly growing culture among the companies where the employees are getting paid time-off for volunteering work in their community. This corporate volunteering quite famous in foreign countries has shifted to India as well. Workplaces — businesses small and large, health care providers, non profit organizations, universities, municipal governments etc are some of the few examples where employee volunteering is being seen at large.

An Employee Volunteer Program (EVP) could be called a deliberate, managed effort that intends to inspire and enable employees to effectively serve community needs under the leadership of the employer. This is because companies along with maintaining their competitive advantages cannot afford to remain disconnected from the well-being of their communities or clients, as they have understood the importance of the community they have to work in and work with. 

Companies in fact go more than extra in their mission to give back—donating cash, expertise, and lots of volunteer hours. They are specifically running volunteer programs for the employees at their workplaces. Employee volunteer programs housed within the workplace are popular and successful among large organizations.

 “When employees are engaged in communities and they feel connected, they’re going to stay with Starbucks longer,” Virginia Tenpenny, vice-president of Global Social Impact at Starbucks and executive director of the Starbucks Foundation.

These corporate volunteering are not only benefiting the society but there are some other major benefits on the larger scale as:

  1. The major impact of corporate volunteering is, when an employee feels connected to the community, he/she gets more of personal satisfaction of contributing something to the world he/she is living in.
  2. Such companies have better employee retention and also have a positive impact on new hires.
  3. Especially the millennial generation employees want to work for a company that’s also doing social good and contributing back to the community. They want to be part of an organization that has values and a mission to help the world. To them, it’s not just a job. Who they work for represents who they are.
  4. Corporate Volunteering within a business gives an opportunity to people for coming together from across the organization which encourages teamwork, as a result, increases job productivity.
  5. Corporate volunteering platform also provides opportunities for the employees to learn new skills from their volunteer experiences, out of which some skills often get transformed into better performance and/or promotions within the organization.
  6. Almost 75 percent agree that employee volunteer programs provide a vehicle to strengthen their company’s image, which in turn provides stronger public relations and marketing campaigns.
  7. If these corporate volunteering are chosen carefully they give opportunities that complement the company’s niche and can also highlight what the organization has to offer in the business sector.
  8. The mantra of corporate volunteering is ‘Think globally, invest locally’, which clearly signifies that it is a win-win situation for not only the company but also the community at large.

The success of any corporate volunteering program within a workplace depends on the level of staff participation in any given volunteering activity. Along with this, the thing that can make workplace volunteer programs a huge success for the company is the opportunity it projects for developing skills, boosting confidence-levels, most importantly the fun aspect of being out of the office and getting into something unusual than the daily office routine. The solution is to shape workplace volunteering as per your business needs and to combine it into what you do on an ongoing basis.

An efficient corporate volunteering program will take care of mutually favourable dealings with a variety of non- profit organisations or a number of select community partners. Excellent workplace volunteer programs provide a measurable benefit to the community, are employee-driven and bring added strategic value to the business.

You might also be interested to read: Building A Millennial Friendly Workspace

Like any other event, even employee volunteering programs at workplaces require few things that need to be considered while planning like the opportunity is skill-based or not, or a realistic picture of the available time that can be used. Physical preparations for outdoor volunteering activities are yet another point which needs to be considered. And last but not the least employee’s consent, convenience keeping in mind the travelling time, indoor or outdoor volunteering, time and season of the year are some things that need a lot of pondering while planning for such employee volunteer programs.

As global forces are influencing the business environment and competitiveness is increasing among employees, customers, and investors, Employee Volunteering Programs (EVPs) are perfectly helping companies positively. If they are used effectively, EVPs can further business priorities including public relations, marketing and communications, employee skill development, and more.


  • Paying employees to volunteer could be key to keeping millennial staff, by Gene Marks, Sun 26 Aug 2018.
  • Creating a Successful Employee Volunteer Program, by Christine Litch.

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